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Mildred Lynn McDonald

Oh Where, Oh Where
Did My Heart Beat Go?

By Mildred Lynn McDonald

Your heart beat. Listen. Can you hear it?  I’m not talking about the physical heart that beats in your chest. I’m talking about your HEART BEAT, the one that resonates with your being—and is a powerful springboard for mind, body and spirit balance.

In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, many people have lost touch with the sound of their heart beat and replaced it with the closest one at hand--society’s “one-size-fits-all” version.

How do I know this? For a couple years, I’ve been joyfully preoccupied with finding, nourishing and following the relationship between balance and my own heart beat.  On this journey, I’ve become astute at identifying what makes me tick and recognizing the peek-a-boo heartbeats of other people.

Where does your heart beat go? You never lose your heart beat, you just smother it with mental chatter, put it in a flower pot and forget to water it, wrap it in layers of emotional stuff, or set it on the shelf to collect spiritual lint and fur balls.

The good news is that your heart beat is built to last. At first your heart beat may be faint, and then, with a little self-acceptance and TLC, it will start showing up, revealing itself, unannounced.  Treat your heart beat like a good friend; trust it, respect it and really open yourself to it. Have faith that you will find your authentic heart beat, and always remember--you are not the only one looking; your bold, beautiful heart beat is looking for you too!

In this article, I’ll be sharing real life exercises to help you reconnect with your heart beat and find balance.  Best of all, the information is based on successful Life Coaching experiences with motivated people like you!

To begin, please consider adding this heart beat balance exercise to your meditation toolbox.

Heart Beat Balance Exercise:

1. Go to the ocean.  Stand on the shore. Watch the tide flow in and out. Feel the powerful, steady rhythm of the waves.  Smell the fresh air. Quiet your thoughts.  Take a deep breath. What are you experiencing?  You are feeling the Ocean’s heart beat, and it is magnificent! 

2. Take the gift of this ocean experience with you. It will be one of the best tools you have to find, nourish and support your own heartbeat--the one that provides fulfillment on all levels--mind, body, spirit and emotion.

3. If you don’t have access to the ocean, give yourself the gift of an Ocean Sounds CD, close your eyes and gently drift away!

Good news! You can do this exercise by yourself or with two or three other people. Enjoy!

Saying Hello Balance, Goodbye to Extreme

As an active Life Coach, people often ask for suggestions on how to keep their heart beat balanced, vibrant and alive.

That’s where the idea of a heart beat “conditioner” was created, and the most important ingredient on the list of conditioning life-supporting vibrations is “balance”.  When I talk about “life-supporting”, I’m referring to the work of Dr. David Hawkins (Power vs. Force).  Dr. Hawkins’ research calibrates the energy of words into life-supporting and non-life supporting energy. For example, in his database of about 280 human qualities, you’ll find the positive vibration of “balance” as an antidote to the negative vibration of “extreme”. 

Have you noticed that some people or situations drain energy, while others nourish energy? This is the practical application of Dr. Hawkins work.  The key is to be sea breeze fresh about the “ins and outs” of your personal energy balance equation. One of the best ways to do this is to give yourself the gift of regular a reflection exercise (re: ocean exercise) that deeply conditions your beautiful heart beat, leaving it healthy, vibrant and alive!

Balance Conditioner Exercise:

On a piece of paper, create two columns with the headings “Life Supporting Energy” and “Non-life Supporting Energy”.  For fun, use colorful markers.

For one day, note the people, situations, events (perhaps TV shows, newspapers, e-mails) that nourish you; and the people, situations, events that deplete your energy.  Hint: A simple way to do this is to put a “N” for nourish and  “D” for deplete next to each item listed.  It is up to you what you put on the list; the gift in the exercise is to practice being aware of life-supporting and non-life supporting energy, and the cumulative effect on your precious energy (mind, body, and spirit).

Now, count the number of Ns and Ds collected over a three-day period.  Are there more Ns than Ds or more Ds than Ns? Continue this exercise on a regular basis until you notice that your Ns are winning the energy race.

Repeat this balancing conditioning exercise once a week, or as needed. Enjoy!

Seven Balance Questions with Coaching Tips

From coast-to-coast, heart beats (people) love digging into interactive questions that give practical perspectives on the inner journey.  This is one of the most intriguing aspects of being a Life Coach, so I’m always on the lookout for excellent tools that motivate, inspire and meet people where they are along the happy trail.

I’d like to share with you seven questions around the theme of balance that have been successful with my “Bridging the Gap” coaching clients.  Under each question, I’ve added “Coaching Tips” based on real life experience and results--including FUN and LAUGHTER; two of the best heart beat “balancers” of all!

Here are the questions:

  • If the life-supporting vibration of balance were a color, what would it be?

  • If the life supporting vibration of balance were a shape, what would it be?

  • Explore the concept of balance. How do you feel?  Any resistance?

  • Name three people in your life that represent balance.  What characteristics do they share?

  • What three things can you do this week to support and nurture balance in your life?

On a scale from 1 to 10, (10 = maximum), how important is balance in your life? What is it today?

Create a positive affirmation for the positive, life-supporting vibration of balance. If balance were a song, what would, it be?

Q1: If the life-supporting vibration of balance were a color, what would it be?

Life Coaching Tips:

Sometimes we take familiar concepts like “balance” for granted as we scurry through our daily lives.  This question provides an opportunity to look at balance as a pulsating, vibration of color.

Notice the color that shows up for you. Hint: If you have trouble quieting your mind, connect your breath with your heart by taking three deep breaths.  Once you have your balance color, embrace it, play with it--sprinkle in some lightness and fun. For example, if your balance color is orange, you might place a bowl of oranges on a desk or table. The good news is that the more you work with your balance color; the more it will work for you!

Q2: If the life supporting vibration of balance were a shape, what would it be?

Life Coaching Tips:

Allow the concept of balance to flow through you.  Start at the top of your head. Envision balance as a smooth stream of energy flowing through your body, from your head to the tips of your toes.  Does this feel natural or is your balance energy is getting stuck along the inner path?  Give yourself the gift of noticing where the energy ebbs and flows.  Now, envision this energy as a shape.  Is it a smooth, round orb or a prickly burr, large and imposing, or perhaps tiny and dense? 

Q3:  Explore the concept of balance. How do you feel?  Any resistance?

Life Coaching Tips:

A great way to help you play with the concept of balance is the “What Branch Are You Sitting On?” exercise. Close your eyes and envision a beautiful birch tree pulsating with life force energy.  As you climb the tree, notice that the first branches provide a bird’s eye view of your day-to-day life.  Sit for a while. Next, climb up a little higher; from this vantage point you have the whole week spread out like wild flowers in front of your eyes.  Then climb higher; from this spot, you get a panoramic view of the month ahead.  Continue climbing up until you reach a point where the view is not relevant to your life (as you perceive it today).

Slowly descend, resting at each of the look off-points. Where do you feel most comfortable?  Is it day-to-day, week-to-week, month-to-month, or perhaps year-to-year?  Most people feel that they have the satisfaction, happiness and fulfillment balancing the “now”; with a bird’s eye view of the future.  Are you living in the now, or are you on a lopsided merry-go-round, swirling in the details of the details?

Q4: Name three people in your life that represent balance.  What characteristics do they share?

Life Coaching Tips:

Once you find the people (local or virtual) that personify “balance” to you, take a few moments to explore the characteristics that you have in common (it is no accident that you were attracted to these people).  Once you identify two or more characteristics, set an intention to attract more balance into your life. The good news is that these characteristics are your personal starting point—a position of heart beat balance, growth and strength.

Q5: What three things can you do this week to support and nurture balance in your life?

Life Coaching Tips:

Take your two or three balance characteristics from Q4 and settle in with a cup of hot beverage--in Nova Scotia, Canada, we love hot tea! Envision what your life would look like if you made the choice to acknowledge these special balance characteristics; and then make a commitment to put them into action.  Are you feeling any resistance? Is any part of your body reacting?  If you answered, “yes” to these questions, please pay attention.  Your inner wisdom is giving you valuable data for future exploration. 

For example, when one of the people in the Life Coaching program listed quiet time alone in the garden as a characteristic, her heart and stomach felt heavy.  As it turns out, she was associating taking time to balance herself with selfishness, rather than self-care. Once aware of this, she was able to flip her perception from selfishness to self-care, and now freely enjoys quiet time in the garden 100%!

Q6:  On a scale from 1 to 10, how important is balance in your life? What is it today?

Life Coaching Tips:

If you answered this question with a gap between level of importance and reality of today, you have an excellent opportunity to create your own unique balance equation, from a place of gentleness, compassion and focus. Creating balance in your life is not about adding one more action item to an already bursting at the seams “To Do’ list. It is about creating a healthy, vitalized foundation to support a vital life. 

Just for fun, grab a sheet of paper.  Create two columns called  “What balance looks today” and “What balance looks like in my highest vision”. List 5 to 10 words (the more the merrier) in each column. Once complete, put your list away for a week.  After one week, revisit your two columns. Pay special attention to what nourishes and what drains you. If you have not completed the “Balance Conditioner Exercise” (above), this would be an excellent starting point.   Enjoy!

Q7:  Create an affirmation for balance. If balance were a song, what would, it be?

Life Coaching Tips:

The most beautiful aspect of shifting energy and creating more balance is that once you get the hang of it, you may feel empowered to transfer the “how-to” to other areas of your life such as time management, body image and self talk--with absolutely amazing results!

Another idea is to design your own personal definition of balance. To get the ball rolling, visit a great on-line dictionary called www.allwords.com.  Simply pick out words that represent the concept of balance to you, string them together and revisit the process in three months.  This approach also works wonderfully for the concept of heart beat.

To create your personal affirmation, please refer to the nuggets of wisdom gleaned from the six questions above.  For those who are extra keen and fun loving, select a popular song that represents balance to you--maybe one with a strong upbeat. For example, one of my life coaching clients chose the song “Catch a Falling Star”, another selected “Life is a Cabaret”, and another the Latin “The Breeze and I”.

Sing or hum along. It won’t be long before you’re smiling because when you choose to acknowledge and balance the magic thump-thump-thump of your heat beat; the whole Universe jumps up with joy and joins in the fun!

Good Vibrations!

If you enjoyed the Life Coach exercises, please feel free to email soulnudge@appliedability, I’d be more than happy to send you a Life Coaching exercise centered on the theme of positive body image.

© Copyright Mildred Lynn McDonald 2005. All Rights Reserved.

Mildred Lynn’s life adventure has whisked her across North America, through the industries of Health & Fitness, High Tech and Publishing, and into the executive halls of Fortune 50 companies. The common thread has been a love of people and the sincere desire to help everyone live their passion, find their joy and experience life fully and completely.

She turned her heart’s vision into Applied Ability (www.appliedability.com), a Canada-USA coaching, mentoring and marketing company for mind-body-soul advocates ready to apply their abilities to fulfill their heart’s passion. Her clients span from California to Nova Scotia.

Mildred Lynn is a Registered Dietitian (RD), a Certified Integrative Coach (CIC), member of the International Association of Integrative Coaches (IAIC), and author of "Dance to the Beat of Your Own Heart" e-course. In 2005, Mildred Lynn launched SoulNudge Creates! e-zine to share insights, resources and inspiration from fascinating people (like you!) who have followed their heart's passion to successfully apply their abilities to their life’s work.

SoulNudge Creates! e-zine: www.appliedability.com/newsletter/issue0605/
Join Nudge Creates! e-zine:
“Bridging the Gap” Coaching Program:
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